Yet another four-way stop

It is with disappointment that I read in the Jan. 24 issue of the Montclair Local that yet another four-way stop is to be installed in Montclair. Although they do cut down on accidents, and that is, of course, a very good thing, they do nothing to stop the bad behavior of the drivers on the road that had the original stop signs.

I drive through the relatively recent four-way stop intersection at South Mountain Avenue and Union Street six to eight times per a day and although I rarely see a driver on South Mountain Avenue fail to come to a complete stop, I continue to see drivers on Union Street "roll through," "piggyback" and generally fail to yield properly multiple times per day. And, while the traffic officers do hand out speeding tickets on South Mountain Avenue, the stop sign offenders seem to continue their dangerous behavior without consequences.

So, if we are going to continue to add four-way stops in Montclair, it would be wonderful to see traffic officers handing out tickets to those who either don't understand the rules or simply don't care.

In addition, I would suggest that the town council and the police think about why we have had to add so many four-way stops in recent years. I know from the traffic statistics I received from the township engineer a few years ago, the traffic at the Union Street/South Mountain Avenue intersection increased, as did the number of accidents, in the year following the closure of Valley Road between Church Street and Bloomfield Avenue for the construction project. There were, in fact, far more accidents at that intersection in the one year following the Valley Road closure than in the three prior years combined. Frustrated drivers tend to break the rules.

Why are we allowing developers to shut down our public roads for years? That needs to stop. And consider what has happened at the Van Vleck Street/North Mountain Avenue intersection recently, the roads in that area have often been closed for repairs (with poor signage), creating more frustrated drivers.

We supposedly have a text/email alert system to tell residents about road closures, yet I rarely receive any alerts. Why aren't we using that system on a regular basis so at least resident drivers will be able to plan and not feel so stressed and frustrated?

Again, I agree it is important to cut down on accidents. In some cases, it may be that a four-way stop is necessary, but I would urge the town leadership to go a step further and consider the underlying problem - increased traffic and frustrated drivers caused by concessions to developers and poor use of alert systems.




Be kind to immigrants

“Give me your tired, your poor, your struggling masses yearning to be free.” I was taught those words when I was young to teach me that my country is, “a nation of immigrants.” Like many current Americans, none of my ancestors immigrated since the 19th century, but still I know that I personally am part of this nation of immigrants.

I am distressed with the suggestion that building a wall on our southern border will make us more secure. We need to spend that money on monitoring all our borders and prompt processing of prospective immigrants, sending back or imprisoning the few who are criminals, but welcoming all the others quickly.

I totally agree with Jim Price’s letter in last week’s paper saying that Essex County should not be imprisoning immigrants while they await delayed processing. We have many better uses of our federal tax money.

Yes, the country and the world are becoming crowded. To address that, we need to facilitate babies being born only when wanted. If all babies were enthusiastically welcomed into this world, we would have significantly fewer problems.

I am very lucky to live on a dead end block with 23 houses that includes immigrants from seven different countries. How that enriches my life. We should welcome immigrants and spend whatever is needed from the proposed $5.7 billion for the wall to do so efficiently.